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Too Many National Parks?

The blows just keep on coming.  Tony Abbott, speaking last week at a ForestWorks industry dinner in Canberra, hailed loggers as the “ultimate conservationists” and promised to end the lock-up of timber in national parks.  Abbott told the audience that Australia has “quite enough” national parks already and that previous governments have locked up too much forest.  Is there no end to the damage this Prime Minister is willing to do in the name of the Australian people?

Abbott is rightly earning his title as the ‘dig it up, cut it down Prime Minister’.  His right wing agenda is not going unnoticed overseas.  Just days ago, ultra-conservative US Senator and 2016 Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, hailed Abbott’s hardline conservative values as inspiring.  This is the same man who opposes birth control, homosexuality, the teaching of evolution in schools, climate change and the right to abortion for rape victims (he stated that they should be thankful for their ‘gift’).  Is this the kind of man we want praising our government?

Open For Business.  One of the many three word phrases peddled by Abbott and the Liberal Party to make snappy headlines and win the votes of the conservative middle classes.  Abbott continues to preach his version of Open For Business – selling out our environment for a quick buck.  As he told the loggers gathered in Canberra, “So my friends, when I say that I want Australia to be open for business, I mean open for business for the forestry industry.”

Abbott continues to label those who speak out against environmental destruction as lefties, tree-huggers, greenies, anti-jobs, anti-Australian, anti-progress, irrational, socialists.  But many Tasmanians in the industry see this as a huge step backwards, and counter-productive to the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement struck last year.  The treaty helped to clean up the image of the logging industry, which had faced boycotts and international criticism for its environmental bad practice.  The TFA ensured Tasmanian timber achieved the green, sustainable certification it needed and which it now relies on.  Tasmanians head to the polls on March 15th and will ultimately decide the outcome.

Abbott’s full speech to the ForestWorks industry dinner can be found here: http://www.pm.gov.au/media/2014-03-04/address-2014-forestworks-dinner-canberra

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